AIADMK walks out

Opposing more sternly NDA's biggest economic reform, the GST Bill, AIADMK on Wednesday sought to reinforce its commitment to uphold the rights of the state in Rajya Sabha. Amid speculation over a possible tie-up between the erstwhile partners for the safe passage of the Bill, Jayalalithaa has distanced herself from the Modi government. “This Constitution amendment bill is not valid.It violates the state's fiscal autonomy . There will be a permanent revenue loss to Tamil Nadu. Hence, we strongly oppose it,“ said AIADMK MP A Navaneethakrishnan.
It may well have been that the AIADMK felt that GST will hamper its ability to raise revenue to tide over the tight financial situation that looms over the state. But more than the revenue loss, the ruling AIADMK seems to have made political calculations by taking a decision to stay off the Modi government. “It is a political game much more than economics. AIADMK support will not make a difference, as Congress and others are voting for the Bill. By opposing it, the AIADMK leader has retained her political chips for the future and projected the interests of the state.AIADMK may feel it is better to keep a distance from the BJP given the political dynamics in TN,“ says political analyst Ramu Manivannan.The AIADMK camp is wary of what it sees as dalit mobilization against the BJP across the country .
Unable to clinch a deal with other parties, the BJP had seen AIADMK as a friend on GST in recent times. Despite the camaraderie enjoyed by the leaders of both parties, the ruling AIADMK “found it hard“ to make headway in inter-state water disputes, GAIL pipeline, and fishermen woes in Palk Bay
With the NDA government not relenting on any of these, the AIADMK government has been less than happy with the Centre.
The party's MPs staged a walk-out before the Bill was put to vote in Rajya Sabha, thus abstaining from voting.
Dravidian parties have always plumped for greater federalism and on Wednesday , Navaneethakrishnan summed up his party's position thus: “Federalism is a basic feature of the Constitution. This constitutional amendment Bill violates it. It violates the right of the TN assembly to pass laws with regard to levy of taxes. So it is unconstitutional.“
Observers refer to the possibility of the emergence of a third front -non-Congress and non-BJP -at the national level, before 2019, and the GST move may suit the AIADMK supremo to keep the hopes alive. The congratulatory messages from the regional partners, including from Mamata Bannerjee, Chandrababu Naidu and Naveen Patnaik on Jayalalithaa's second consecutive win may be pointers to that, observers say.

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